Kanshin-ji Temple in Kawachi from the series Scenes of Sacred and Historic Places

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Kanshin-ji Temple in Kawachi

print 33 from the series

Scenes of Sacred and Historic Places

by Tokuriki Tomikichirō, 1941

Former Residence of Ōishi Yoshio in Banshū-Akō from the series Scenes of Sacred and Historic Places

IHL Cat. #438

About This Print

Print number thirty-three of the fifty print series Scenes of Sacred and Historic Places (Seichi Shiseki Meisho) published by Uchida Woodblock Printing Company in 1941.  This temple gate is designated a National Treasure and Tokuriki's view of it is on a stormy autumn's day, absent of people.  The gate is decorated with a shimenawa (special plaited rope) to ward off evil spirits.

The Series - Scenes of Sacred and Historic Places

The print artist Tokuriki and the publisher Unsōdō created two series of prints to mark Kigen 2600, or the 2600th year of Japan's mythical founding as a nation. The first, a paean to Mount Fuji, a sacred site of pilgrimage and worship, titled Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji, harkened back to Hokusai’s famous 1831 series of the same name. The second series, Scenes of Sacred and Historic Places, capitalized on the nationalist ideology that Japan was a divine land, presenting overtly nationalistic landscapes including shrines, temples, castles, places associated with the divine origins of Japan, Meiji era history and samurai

In his commentary on this series, the artist wrote that his devotion to these sites is intended to demonstrate to the people the dignity of the national polity, going on to say that he advocates prints as a means of providing comfort and pleasure to the wholesome citizens of the nation. 

This series was extremely popular with domestic and foreign buyers who purchased one thousand copies within a short time after issuance.1  I imagine that foreign buyers were enchanted by the lovely scenes with much of the import of each print escaping them. In the 1950s, six prints from this series were re-printed under the title The Album of Famous Views of Japan and eight additional prints were re-printed under the title The Eight Views of Japan.  Later printings omit the information in the margin and some position the artist's signature and print title within the image in a different location from the original issue.

For images of all the prints in the series, go to the website of Ross Walker's Ohmi Gallery at http://www.ohmigallery.com/Gallery/Tokuriki/SacredPlaces.htm.

1 Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints - The Early YearsHelen Merritt, University of Hawaii Press, 1998, p. 89.

Margin Annotations of Original Edition (top to bottom) and Print Title Within Image

series title
Seichi Shiseki Meishō
聖地 史蹟 名勝

 assigned number of print in series

artist's signature and seal
Tomikichiro Saku
(Made by Tomikichiro)
followed by oval seal1

 Uchida Bijutsu Shoshi
(Uchida Fine Art Shop) followed in seal form by
Fukyo Fukusei
(Reproduction forbidden)
 Print Title
河内 観心寺
 (Kanshin-ji Temple in Kawachi, Osaka)

1 possibly a reproduction of an old censor's seal

The title of each print appears within the image area along with the artist's signature and seal.  The artist's signature is comprised of the artist's name 富吉郎 (Tomokichirō) either by itself, as shown below, or followed by the single kanji character 作 (saku "made by") or by 作 plus 謹 (kin "respectfully").

Kanshin-ji Temple

Source: Historical Dictionary of Osaka and Kyoto by Ian Martin Röpke, The Scarecrow Press, Inc.,1999, p. 52.
An important Shingon sect temple, located in Kawachi Nagano City in southern Osaka Prefecture, this temple, founded in the Nara period (1710-1794), was renamed by the saint Kobo Daishi as Kanshin-Ji Temple in 815.  The temple’s main gate, designated a National Treasure, dating from the ninth century, contains two wooden guardian statues, both of which are designated Important Cultural Properties.  The temple is closely associated with Masashige Kusunoki and the Southern Court Dynasty.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #438
 Title Kanshin-ji Temple in Kawachi, Osaka
 河内 観心寺
 Series Scenes of Sacred and Historic Places (also seen translated as "Collected Prints of Sacred, Historic and Scenic Places")
 聖地 史蹟 名勝 Seichi Shiseki Meisho 
 Tokuriki Tomikichirō (1902-2000)
Tokuriki seal
 Date September 1941
 Edition original (first) edition
 Publisher  Uchida Bijutsu Shoten
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition excellent - minor residue top corners verso from previous folio mounting
 Genre shin hanga (new print)
 Miscellaneous 三十三 #33 in series
 Format horizontal oban
 H x W Paper 11 1/4 x 16 1/4 in. (28.6 x 41.3 cm)
 H x W Image
 10 3/8 x 15 (26.4 x 38.1 cm)
 Collections This Print Penn Libraries, Rare Book & Manuscript Library - Rare Book Collection Call no.: Portfolio NE1325.T65 A4 1940 
 Reference Literature